Indian Country

Academic Boycotts and Re-Colonization by Theory

February 3, 2014

(The full text of the following essay was published by Scholars for Peace in the Middle East.) from “Academic Boycotts and Recolonization by Theory“  As a matter of international justice, however, conceptually distinguishing and crucial in consideration of what constitutes an indigenous people have been the following characteristics, developed for the Working Paper on the Concept [...]


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The Trope Dope: “Check Your Privilege”

December 9, 2013

In the final analysis, Madame Bovary is just another trope. Unknown academic wag. dope: an illicit, habit-forming, or narcotic drug; a stupid person; [slang] the inside scoop, the poop, the skinny, the lowdown Cant kills ideas. Leaves them dead in the field, their tongues swollen and hanging. Flies buzzing. (They fell in love too easily. [...]


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A Second Look: The Honor of the Mascot, or A Team by Any Other Name

October 8, 2013

The latest publicity over the very name of the Washington Redskins is only the most recent eruption in a longtime simmer. As recently as 2009, the Supreme Court refused to hear a case dating back to 1992. This should not surprise given that the Supreme Court has never overturned Johnson v. McIntosh, its 1823 decision [...]


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Seeking Submissions: Wiyoĥpeyata, a New Journal of Native American Literature

September 3, 2013

Our friends at Alternating Current press, who are behind so many fine projects and publications, have yet one more, Wiyoĥpeyata: a Literary Journal for the Pine Ridge Reservation. The title, in Lakota, means Westward, and the journal is open to Oglala Lakota Sioux of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota as well as members of neighboring Great Plains [...]


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Taking Stock, Taking a Leave

March 4, 2013

. The first post on this blog is dated December 2, 2008, so I have been blogging as of the date of this post, four years, three months and two days. I began when Julia and I hit the road during a sabbatical year, traveling the country in our motor home researching Native American life. [...]


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Conquest Leaves a Sour Taste

December 8, 2012

. Who’d a thunk it? Five hundred and twenty years of military assault, ethnic cleansing, physical and cultural genocide, theft, lies, deception, dishonor, broken treaties – oh, you can’t even count the number of broken treaties – broken trusts and misappropriation of funds, and nothing seems to work quite right. Things are – how do [...]


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Forty-Five Thousand, Nine Hundred and Fifty Six Days (or Thereabouts)

November 28, 2012

. Many top stories are receiving their usual high levels of attention, from the structural taxation reforms bandied about in the face of the “fiscal cliff” that is really a graded driveway to Israel and Gaza. What receives no attention? The usual, including from among the far left advocates of “peace and justice” who pretend to be [...]


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Writing Paradise

October 25, 2012

. I learned at an early adult age, with only minor but memorable pain, not to hero-worship. When we lionize people, we tend to forget the natural inclination of the lion to consume the person. I prefer admiration. Admiration works from the muck up. While hero worship sets up the faithful for a fall, admiration [...]


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Conspiracies

October 4, 2012

. I was talking with my class the other day about the methodology of fully-developed conspiracy theories and my general skepticism toward them. The undeveloped conspiracy theory works off a form of radical skepticism. How do you know we really landed on the moon? Have you been witness to any of the reality of the [...]


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Pine Ridge: In the Shadow of Wounded Knee

August 2, 2012

. The photographs, text, video and audio below are from the August edition of National Geographic magazine, all courtesy of the magazine. The photography is by Aaron Huey, whose work we have highlighted before at the sad red earth, the story by Alexandra Fuller. Huey has spent the past seven years documenting the lives of  the Oglala [...]


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I Am a Man: When American Indians Were Recognized as People Under U.S. Law

July 7, 2012

. This is the story I have meant to share.  You had to know the story of the Massacre of the Cheyenne first. That took place at Fort Robinson, Nebraska on January 9, 1879. This story, and these events, played out only months later, in Omaha, Nebraska, in the spring of 1879. Though I draw on [...]


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Massacre of the Cheyenne

June 27, 2012

. The story I mean to relate is for tomorrow. This is another story. This one needs to be told first, as Joe Starita tells it first, for context, in his I Am a Man: Chief Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice. Standing Bear’s story is of the Ponca tribe. This story is of the Cheyenne. [...]


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Ethnic Cleansing in the United States, Historic & Contemporary

June 25, 2012

. I tried to keep up with posting while in Nebraska last week, but then the pace of the workshop – the NEH Legacies and Landmarks of the Plains Native Americans, conceived and hosted by Central Community College – was fourteen-hours-a-day relentless, with lots of travel and a couple of times, by night, I confess, [...]


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Six Pawnee Scouts: a Homecoming

June 21, 2012

. The history of Indigenous-European relations in North America is sometimes simultaneously complex and simple. We find complexity in the clash of cultures and world views and the intersecting cultures, including among the Indigenous tribes themselves. Simple, too often, was the sheer racist betrayal and barbarism. Pawnee were shrewd and fierce warriors, often in conflict [...]


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A Lost Covenant

June 19, 2012

. Among all the Native tribes of North America to whom sacred bundles were part of their spiritual tradition, there was none to whom the bundles and the ceremonial prayers that accompanied them were more central than the Pawnee. According to the Kansas Historical Society, Sacred bundles were a powerful part of Pawnee ceremonies linked to planting and [...]


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Thomas Jefferson, Architect of Deception

June 13, 2012

. I head in a few days to Columbus, Nebraska for an NEH workshop on the Legacies and Landmarks of the Plains Native Americans. One of the books I’m reading in preparation is “I Am a Man”: Chief Standing Bear’s Journey for Justice, by Joe Starita. Standing Bear was a Ponca Indian chief whose efforts to return his [...]


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Imagine the Dred Scott Decision Were Still the Law of the Land

April 2, 2012

. An Indigenous People Forum on the Impact of the Doctrine of Discovery was held on March 23 on the floor of the Arizona State House of Representatives. “The event was hosted by the Native American Caucus of the Arizona State Legislature, and presided over by the O’otham Hemuchkam upon whose traditional territories as O’otham [...]


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CineFile – The Last of the Mochicans

January 15, 2012

. From my recent Geronimo post, we’ve had a brief discussion in the comments section about John Ross, Chief of the Cherokee at the time the Great Removal (in contemporary terminology, “ethnic cleansing), or Trail of Tears, and Andrew Jackson, and who should really be on the $20 bill. One of the actors in the [...]


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CineFile – Cheyenne Autumn

January 8, 2012

. Yesterday’s post on Geronimo put me in mind of John Ford‘s Cheyenne Autumn. The excerpt from We Shall Remain noted how within only several years of Geronimo’s capture he had transformed in the American consciousness from demon savage into the iconic fierce warrior. (The U.S. special forces operation that killed Osama bin Laden was code-named “Geronimo.”) John Ford spent much [...]


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How We Lived On It (45) – Geronimo

January 7, 2012

. Just over three years ago, Julia and I were present for the aftermath of a blessing ceremony – the participants and witnesses of which had been Apaches only – on the San Carlos Apache reservation. “The purpose of the ceremony,” I wrote at the time, “was to prepare the land for the installation of [...]


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Warriors in Transition

November 4, 2011

. A little while back I stopped in at the New York branch of the National Museum of the American Indian. It is housed in the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, a monumental Beaux Arts building at the Battery and a National Historic Landmark  listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has been adapted on [...]


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